When older people are becoming frailer and are in need of care they can receive extensive support from these communities. Volunteers, neighbors and family members help older people at local level to live longer independently at home. At the same time, older people (65+) are often the most active contributors to their community as they see the imminent need for a more sustainable care and wellbeing system. This project aims to support and promote these social innovation processes of citizen empowerment by bringing innovative technological solutions together and providing for a toolkit with best practices and blue prints for implementation. The project will test and pilot the social and technological solutions in two pilot countries, adapting them to country specific situations and areas. The result will be a set of guidelines, best practices and technological tools for a sustainable social care network by empowered citizens in local communities that supports older people
SOCIALCARE will be a central digital meeting point, where all stakeholders in a local community can come together. Additionally according to the care need, different functionalities and service providers can be added to the platform. It will provide for a set of services for mobile devices and administration interfaces for desktop computers. We will keep a technology watch on cutting edge technologies, such as smart watches and state-of-the-art phones, performing research on senior user acceptance and added value for SOCIALCARE services.
The SOCIALCARE community platform (SCP) brings people together in the place where they live. This can be a street, a number of streets, a district, a village, an apartment building, etc. The SCP makes it possible to exchange offers on demand and to organize volunteering work at local level in a community. It is a local tool where people, associations and service providers can publish their offers and demands. It is a place where people are involved in their neighborhood and become an active citizen, independently of age. The SCP will be based on already existing solutions from project partners which makes it possible to form communities in a town and organize activities, which will be optimized and extended, with different functionalities for:
• Connecting people
• Caring for people
• Learning with people
In the pilots (in Austria and the Netherlands), the socio-economic impact of the social innovation process in transition towns and the supporting ICT tools can be determined. The result of the pilot research will be a set of best practices or a blue print, that can support care initiatives across Europe to respond to the challenges of elderly care. Through the involvement of an international wellbeing and research organization (JOIN), these blue prints can be adapted to different European countries and implemented through consultancy products as an exploitable result of the project.